Com­post­ing is a safe, nat­ural and con­ve­nient way to convert organic matter into a useful product. When spread in the gar­den, com­post improves soil aer­­ation, water reten­tion, root pen­e­tra­tion and provides valu­able nutri­ents to plants.

Home Composting

It’s easy to con­vert leaves, grass clip­pings and veg­etable scraps into valu­able compost. Howard County’s Bureau of Envi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices Com­post­ing web­page is a great place to learn:

  • How to com­post at home
  • How res­i­dents can pick up a free back­yard com­post bin (while sup­plies last)
  • How to pur­chase HoCoGro Com­post – made here in Howard County!

The Howard County Master Gardeners provide composting demonstrations and give-aways at multiple locations in the county. Knowledgeable volunteers give tips and answer questions. Check the Howard County Master Gardener webpage for locations, dates and times.

Yard Trim Composting

Howard County has an exten­sive res­i­den­tial curb­side yard trim collection program. Most areas of the County receive curbside collection of grass, leaves and light brush on their recycling days between the first week in April to the third week in January. Check the website for the details and please note that yard waste is no longer collected in plastic bags.

By collecting and composting yard trim, the County saves money that would have been spent to landfill these items. The yard trim is converted into useful products whenever possible including mulch and HoCoGro compost.

Howard County residents are also welcome to take yard trim and natural wood waste to Alpha Ridge Landfill.

Feed the Green Bin

Did you know that about 30% of what we throw away is food waste? Howard County’s ‘Feed the Green Bin’ food com­post­ing pro­gram is under­way in cer­tain parts of the County to address this issue. Although not available to all areas of the County yet, this innovative food waste composting program collects these materials separately so they can be professionally composted with high-tech monitoring. Details about the pro­grams, including an easy online search to see if your house is eligible, are at and

Please follow the link to learn more about Howard County’s composting facility.